Remember how I excitedly wrote about how we were putting our house on the market? And how I had done all of the things that “the experts” tell you do to do?
How I had bought show towels and everything? How I was closing the toilet seat every. fifteen. seconds!?!?
Well, there’s an update. And I’m going to share it with you. Through the power of art.
(This art is a terribly-done homage to the uber-fabulous Amber of Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures. I don’t think she’ll care that I’m copying her. My Paint skills are pathetic compared to hers.)
Once upon a 7 years ago, Mr. Suburble and I decided to move from our townhouse (and its dictatorship of a strata council), into a house that had its very own walls.
We had been looking at neighbourhoods that were not at the top of the list, but they were fine. By chance, we decided to see a house in one of our desired areas. It was at the top of our price range, but we decided to go. Why not!?!? Probably won’t buy it anyways.
And discovered that the house needed a lot of work. Heaps of work.
A few things that the house had on its Wish List:
– a new roof
– a new furnace
– new flooring
– new bathrooms
– new appliances (the dryer had an “On” button and a timer. That was it.)
– new paint
– new deck
Despite all of that, we wanted the house. It had decent bones. It had a private backyard. It was on a cul-de-sac.
We made an offer that night and started to draw up our renovation plans. In all of this planning, we chose to ignore a certain issue: the considerable slope in the spare room.
Pfffttt… who cares about that? The foundation was structurally sound. We had the paperwork. Not an issue.
We did the work (over the course of a few years). But we didn’t touch the floor. It didn’t bother anyone. We didn’t even notice it.
Yes, rolling balls would suddenly speed up near that part of the house… but we just turned a blind eye to that.
Two kids later, suddenly we realized: our house was a teensy bit smaller than we remembered. And wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit more space, and more closets? How else am I going to grow my hoard?
So we put up the sign on our front yard.
And lots of people came for showings. Lots.
And the feedback was, “It’s beautiful! But what about that crooked floor?!?!”
“We don’t want a fixer-upper.”
“Do they not know that their house is TILTED!?!?”
Mr. Suburble and I were surprised. “The floor? Who cares about the floor? Didn’t you see the new bathrooms? What about the fireplace? Don’t you like the spray painted animals everywhere?”
Nope. No, they didn’t.
They ran away from the crooked house with their tails between their legs.
And after the 26th showing in three weeks, I was done. I was fed up with people who didn’t want to buy the house.
So we’re taking a little break from real estate.
And we’re probably going to fix the floor.
I know. You’re probably thinking, “How impatient are you!?!?”
You’re so right. I wasn’t very patient.
But it’s not the best time to sell a house (and our Aunty Mary told us that – “Sell in the Spring!”), and I REALLY want to do Christmas right. I want to decorate and put tackiness in places where buyers wouldn’t want tackiness.
We may fix the floor. We may not. But we’ve bought ourselves some time.
And we don’t HAVE to sell. And that’s a good feeling.
Tell me a real estate story, friends.
Or tell me that your house has a fairly-noticeable slope that you didn’t care to notice when you bought it.
Yes, it’s “Coddle Tara Time”. Just do it.
You and I could probably sit down and have a really good laugh about how shitty it is when people come into your house and notice the one thing that could put you rover the edge! We put our house up for sale last year as well(after we already bought a new one) LOTS of people came and everybody left the same comment “it’s just too small”. So we took it off the market and worked all winter on built an addition to the house. Now the “house is so beautiful” with only 4 people coming to see the place. But we too missed the market of buyers in our area and put the house up for sale Mid August. We are now taking it off the market again and will put it in the spring. Fun Times! Your animations were great by the way!
Oh, house-selling is SUCH a rollercoaster of “this is great, but…”
So you built an ADDITION!?! Wow. You’re dedicated. Have you already moved into your new house? We haven’t even started looking yet, as we don’t want to fall in love with something that we can’t have.
DUDE! I hear ya! When we were selling our house I was shocked at the complaints people came back with.
“It’s a great house but the bathroom tile isn’t a great colour”
“It’s wonderful but the backyard is a weird shape”
“It’s nice but I don’t like the drapes”
Seriously people? Where’s the imagination? The love of the quirky. Personally I think your crooked floor sounds charming!
But I applaud your decision to hold off. Especially with the holidays looming. Your patience will pay off in the spring! 🙂
It is charming… that crooked floor…
It’s amazing how people want a resale home to look brand new. I get it, though. It’s a lot of young couples looking at our house. They don’t know what potential really is. They want the glitzy “after” photos they see on HGTV.
I think that the holidays scared me off of selling the house. Springtime will bring lots of possibilities!
Your buyer is out there and when he/she finds you, nothing will stop the sale! Enjoy your Christmas sweetie!
I will! I’m hoping that the buyer is just now thinking about maybe buying a house in the Spring. I’m going to will him/her into existence! 😉
As a licensed agent I always tell my sellers, when you get feedback at the words, “for the price” after the negative complaint. It’s not that the tile bothers them, it just bothers them for the price. I would suggest getting an estimate for the floor slant and see if it is worth the repair costs. Whether it is the foundation or not, slope floors scare people! Enjoy the holidays, contractors are slow this time of year.laura
You’re so right…. it’s all about weighing the costs (and the time) and deciding which decision makes the most sense. We’re still weighing those options now.
And I know that when I start looking for a new house, I’m going to have all sorts of “for the price” comments, too! I just like being on the buying side of things! 😉
Kelly @ A Swell Place to Dwell
Awe Tara…I feel for you! That’s a heck of a lot of showings…and I can feel your paint through the computer screen. How major is it to fix the floor? I hope you are able to have a relaxing Christmas in your house (as relaxing as that season can be) and then re-evaluate in the spring. What I CAN tell you, is that moving into a house that needs a lot of work is good, but it’s a TON of work and living in chaos and half painted rooms gets really old really fast.
I know! I don’t want to live in reno-hell only because a) we’ve done it before and b) we’re probably going to do it again in our new house. But… we’re going to have to see what the estimates say and consider our options.
I will have a great Christmas, though. Way less pressure now! 😉
I had been meaning to call to see how that other showing went. If it’s off the market, I take it they didn’t put in any offers. Oh well, the spring is a much nicer time to move!
You’re so right. The Spring is a much nicer time to get into a new place. But.. yes… no offer on that showing.
Sigh. Oh well – time to get obsessive over Christmas now!
People are dicks when it comes to buying houses. I had a home that sloped from one door to the other. I still loved it. I’m glad you’re taking a break. Who needs the holiday stress?
You’re so right – who DOES need the stress.
And yes, people can be dicks in real estate. I’m looking forward to my turn at it! 😉
Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz
Major bummer. It drives me CRAZY when buyers start getting really picky over little things. If it makes you feel better I just helped someone buy a house a couple months ago, and they have crooked floors 🙂 Hang in there. If you really need to sell fast, then fixing that floor would probably be the answer if that’s the consistent feedback. Otherwise, Aunty Mary is right… spring and summer are prime.
And, I’m really jealous of your paint skillz. You got me beat hard core.
Oh, my paint skillz were developed in computer class about 15 years ago. They’re dope, no?
I think that the Spring will bring more possibilities to us. And maybe less Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder. 😉
Argh … how frustrating! But I am glad you can relax a bit now for the holidays and that you have found a way to laugh at it all 🙂
Dani @ lifeovereasy
Sigh. I feel your pain. Just remember that one day soon, one way or another, this will all be behind you.
That’s what I count on! I am excited to be in a new house, doing improvements to THAT house… not so much this one. But, it could all be worse. I have to remember that.
Oh Hun, first up I’m not shy about any of the problems at the mansion but let me tell you about the first home I sold. We did all the work, real estate agents all given us comparable valuations so that’s what we were working for, week one we got an offer but lower than expected so we knocked it back. 12 months of absolute nightmares people turning up trying to keep it ready ith 3 kids under 4 it finally sold, for the exact price originally offered because the market slumped. I really feel you. I will say Aunty is right all my homes sold first weeks of spring. I wouldn’t bother putting it on during winter ever again if/when I next sell.
I think that Spring is going to be the way to go for us. I can’t imagine 12 months of having a house on the market! You must be a very patient woman, Mel!
And with three kids under four? Jeez louise… I have two under five, and they still trash the place enough to make me crazy!
Awww. I’m a licensed realtor (but I’m not active). My husband however, is a full time realtor and he would probably tell you to fix your floor if that is the primary complaint after all of those showings. (That’s a lot of showings so there is certainly great interest in your house!) I totally understand your wanting to decorate for Christmas! I’m the same way. We sold our land, but decided to wait until after the holidays to put our house on the market. Although it’s true that houses sell faster in the spring and right up until the school year starts, I’ve bought and sold houses in the winter. I think when the right buyer comes along, the season won’t matter. Good luck Tara and enjoy your holiday!
Your land sold!?!? Congratulations!
We bought this house in October, which is why we didn’t think that it made such a difference. But I feel like the market is a bit sluggish and the people who were touring weren’t as serious as they might be in the Spring.
I’m counting on that buyer. Maybe she’s just focusing on Christmas right now, too! 😉
I purchased my house in 2007; it was a foreclosure. I planned to live there 2 years and sell it and move on to perhaps another foreclosure. It’s not in the best looking neighborhood, but it’s safe & the people are nice. It’s also the second nicest house in the neighborhood. A year after moving in, my neighbor painted her house a NEON version of Barney Purple…ugh it is horrid. Now it’s fading, but any better. Fast forward to 2013, house is still on the market; been through 3 price reductions. Some people call to look after seeing it’s pictures in one of those fancy color real estate magazines & won’t even get out of their car to come inside to look at the house because they don’t like the appearance of the neighborhood. So, at least YOU can fix your floor! Unfortunately I can’t fix my neighbor’s poor choice of paint color and unfortunately the neighborhood doesn’t have an HOA.
Oh my gosh… I want pictures. A purple house!?!? Really!?!?!
I’ve only ever seen one house that was close to that colour, and the fence was painted neon green. It was a crazy-looking house.
We don’t have an HOA in our neighbourhood either (which isn’t so bad). The homes are all about the same vintage, and people take decent care of their yards.
That’s tough, though, that people don’t like the neighbourhood – like you said, it’s safe and people are kind. It’s not a bad place to start out!
Amy of while wearing heels
Loved your drawings. I can’t believe your spray painted animals did not distract from the crooked floor. Sigh. At least you can settle in and enjoy the holidays. Small houses have close families…at least that’s what I tell myself!
Awww… thanks! I know! The power of spray paint did not woo them! (Though there were many repeat visits… so perhaps their full power will be realized come Spring). I’m happy to be here over the holidays… it will be nice to be able to decorate full-force!
Jessica @ The Junk Nest
I would agree with Laura….anything will sell for a price. I would see what the cost will be to fix it and if you would rather not, just lower the price of your home. Someone will come along and not care about the floor as long as they feel they are getting a deal on the house.
It’s so true. We just have to decide which will be better for us: the renos or the price reduction. The estimates are coming in, and we’ll decide soon.
We felt like we got a deal on this house, and that helped us overlook all of the necessary renovations. Trouble is, it’s still hard to give things up once you’ve dumped so much work and money into a place. I understand how many people got burned when flipping houses was big.
Lisa @ Wine & Glue
Coddling: When the market was at it’s ABSOLUTE WORST in our area, and everyone told us not to sell, we pour our hearts and souls into our cute little house, spent months perfect every detail, and it sold. In one day. No lie.
I’m glad to hear that, as we may be about to pour our hearts, souls, and a bit of money, into this house. I’m really hoping that the second go ’round is a good one. Fingers crossed come Springtime!
My house’s floor is crooked as well. It was crooked when I bought it, I had it redone, and it’s still crooked, just not in the same place! The cats think it’s really fun to play the ball! I have an old cottage, so I think it’s part of the charm of the house. I’ll have a table on this sloping part of the dining-room if I have to sell the cottage some day!
Easier to fix, but quite funny previous owners painted the bathroom (the one and only, it’s a fisherman’s cottage) yellow and orange (which I already don’t like) but they forgot to stop when the ceiling began, so the ceiling is painted like the walls on several inches!!!
Grace @ sense and simplicity
Oh man, selling your house is the worst. I remember just getting so fed up when our house didn’t sell and I had 3 kids to try and pick up after. I finally gave up making the beds all the time and keeping it super tidy and it still sold. We moved one time on December 6th and it wasn’t the best time to move – makes for a tired Christmas so it is probably a good think your house hasn’t sold right now. About the floor – I would definitely fix them as (to be honest here) I wouldn’t want to buy a house that had crooked floors as I would assume there was something wrong with the foundations. You may know the foundations are fine, but a new buyer doesn’t. Just another perspective. Good luck with it.
Thank you so much for your empathy, Grace! We have decided to fix the floor – it wasn’t an easy decision, but we know it’s for the best. Thank you so much for your well wishes. I hope this pays off!
i think behr paint (behr.com) has something like that, but i bveiele there is a $5 fee i’ve not used it, but i have looked at colors on the website before. also you can pick up the paint booklets/chips at home depot (from behr) and the booklets has complimentary colors and shows the paint in different rooms.i personally like the behr paint (semi gloss) because its wonderful for being able to clean it especially with kids and crayons, markers, finger paints, etc. it is a little costlier than most paints, but it covers great and last great also if you use the behr paint and there is something wrong with the paint itself a behr representative will come out and paint your walls for you (there has to be something
My house has the same problem. I want to move very badly but I am really nervous about selling. I hope someone buys both of our crooked houses. Good luck 🙂